A group of nuns in County Cork say they have been “very touched” by the outpouring of support they received after thieves stole barrowloads of apples from their orchard.
Around ten wheelbarrow loads of apples were stolen from the sisters at the Priory of St Benedict in Cobh last Friday.
The nuns use the apples to make chutney and other produce to sell at their tearoom and the money is used for the upkeep of the convent.
The theft led to anger in Cork and beyond and yesterday, the Office of Public Works (OPW) stepped in with a delivery of six boxes of fresh apples to keep the sisters going.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, the prioress of the convent, Mother Catherine Underwood said a ‘lot of good really has come out of a selfish act.’
“We thought that was a very generous and kind gesture from the OPW to kind of come to our aid,” she said.
“We have also been very touched by the general good feeling and support that has come from around the country after all of this.”
Mother Catherine said the response around the country since the theft has been lovely.
“Things moved very quickly actually and the next thing I knew the whole country was rallying around and interested,” she said.
“It has actually been a lot of good really that has come out of a selfish act.”
She said the nuns were shocked to find their trees bare last weekend.
“We went out to harvest our apples and found out they had been harvested already,” she said.
“So that 10 wheelbarrows is my estimate trying to quantify the number of apples.
“It was a lot of apples and I don’t think we will ever know how they managed to get them out of our orchard.”
The OPW gift will allow them to continue with their fundraising plans over the coming months.
“We use the apples to make things to sell,” said Mother Catherine. “We have a little shop and we have various fund-raisers throughout the year and we do try to help ourselves to earn a living by making things out of our produce – so yes it was a loss.”